St. Cloud State, the eight-time defending NSIC Champions, was the unanimous choice to win the league in the 2019-20 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference preseason wrestling coaches’ poll.
The Huskies had 64 points and all eight first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team) to rank 11 points ahead of Upper Iowa, which was second with 53 points. Minnesota State was third with 52 points and a first-place vote while Augustana was fourth with 41 points.
St. Cloud State University senior James Pleski, a three-time All-American at 149-pounds, was named as an NSIC Wrestler to Watch in 2019-20 for the Huskies.
SCSU will open the 2019-20 season with the annual Black/Red Classic intrasquad match on Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. in Halenbeck Hall. The match will also feature the unveiling of the Huskies’ 2019 NCAA DII championship banner along with the distribution of the team’s championship rings. The Huskies will then open regular-season action on Nov. 9 with a trip to the Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y.
SCSU WRESTLING NEWS AND NOTES:
- The St. Cloud State University wrestling team will be looking to continue its run of success that has seen the Huskies capture four NCAA Division II championships since 2015, eight consecutive NSIC championships since 2012 and six NCAA regional crowns since 2011. SCSU posted a perfect 20-0, 8-0 NSIC record in 2018-19 on its way to a second consecutive NCAA title, which also included a first-place finish at the 2019 NWCA DII National Duals. This marked SCSU’s second consecutive undefeated season and saw the Huskies extend their current undefeated streak in dual matches to 48.
- The Huskies have not lost a dual match since a loss to Indianapolis on Jan. 14, 2017, and SCSU has not lost a dual match in NSIC action since a loss to Augustana on Jan. 27, 2011.
- The Huskies look to be poised for more success in 2019-20 as they will return five All-Americans from 2019, which includes 2X All-American Kolton Eischens at 174-pounds (4th place in 2019), 3X All-American James Pleski at 149-pounds (4th place in 2019), Devin FitzPatrick at 165-pounds (6th place in 2019), Garrett Vos at 133-pounds (6th place in 2019) and Jake Barzowski at 157-pounds (3rd place in 2019).
- SCSU will be under the leadership once again of head coach Steve Costanzo, who begins his 14th season with the Huskies in 2019-20. He owns a 208-28 record during his tenure with the Huskies and also owns a 269-58-2 career record as a college coach in 20 seasons.
- James Pleski is a three-time All-American for SCSU at 149-pounds. He placed fourth in the nation at 149-pounds in 2019. In 2018, Pleski finished as the NCAA runner-up at 149-pounds and he earned his first NCAA All-America award with a fourth-place finish in 149.
- Pleski was an NCAA Super Region champion in the 149-pound bracket in 2018 and 2019, and he posted a 29-3 record in 2018-19 with three falls. Pleski owns an 86-15 career record in three seasons with the Huskies. He is a resident of Stacy, Minn. and a graduate of Forest Lake H.S.